Integrating biodiversity and landscape functioning across spatial and organizational scales

Project LandDivProd

Pascal Niklaus
Florian Altermatt
Jordi Bascompte
Reinhard Furrer
Claudia Röösli
Michael Schaepman
Bernhard Schmid 
Forest Isbell (UMN)
Simone Fatichi (U Singapore)
Eva Spehn (Swiss Biodiversity Forum) 

Aim: Develop and apply novel approaches to disentangle drivers and scale-dependency of diversity-functioning relationships at large scales of space and ecological organization, in real-world landscapes.

Research: We integrate URPP GCB  expertise in community ecology, biodiversity sciences, and remote sensing, and foster links to stakeholders and policy through the Swiss Biodiversity Forum. We pioneer novel conceptual approaches to the analysis of biodiversity effects in the “real world” by combining methods, data, and theories from traditionally separate disciplines. We use statistical and semi-mechanistic models to analyze drivers and scale of novel large-scale biodiversity effects we found in phase II. The understanding of biodiversity effects will conceptually and empirically be extended by including large-scale interactions among ecosystem types in heterogeneous landscapes, improving prediction of ecosystem services. 
In the previous phase, we have shown that novel types of diversity effects occur in mosaics of different land-uses but not in the plots of traditional biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments. Here, we link theory, methods and expertise of the project partners and their related disciplines to disentangle the underlying drivers using novel statistical and semi-mechanistic approaches, across a range of spatio-temporal scales. To this end, we collaborate with external partner Forest Isbell (University of Minnesota, spatio-temporal partitioning of landscape-level diversity effects), and Simone Fatichi (University of Singapore. spatial redistribution of heat, a candidate mechanisms).
This interdisciplinary approach allows us to work towards a comprehensive understanding of landscape-level diversity effects. Should the landscape-level effects be important, this would call for inclusion of these additional scales in the analysis and modeling of diversity-functioning relationships. A sound understanding of interactions among ecosystem types within a landscape might also open opportunities in management and conservation. This applied potential will be evaluated in collaboration with Eva Spehn and the Swiss Biodiversity Forum.